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General Category => Archive => Daily Fulham Stuff => Topic started by: whitejc on May 27, 2010, 07:43:56 AM

Title: Thursday Fulham Stuff (27/05/10)
Post by: whitejc on May 27, 2010, 07:43:56 AM (
Fulham - Hodgson`s Choice?
Our latest poll, before I decided it was time for a change, covered a recent piece of press speculation.

With Roy Hodgson being linked to his former club, Inter Milan, with Jose Mourinho opting for the brighter lights of Real Madrid, we wanted to know if, the rumour is true, would Roy Hodgson stay at Craven Cottage or would he leave for the San Siro for a third spell in charge of the Italian giants.

The results were as follows:-

Stay - 70%

Go - 30%

No last hurrah for Roy then!

Our latest poll features on the speculation linking Arsene Wenger with a move for Mark Schwarzer; please use your vote wisely!

Title: Re: Thursday Fulham Stuff (27/05/10)
Post by: whitejc on May 27, 2010, 07:45:01 AM (
Fulham - Schwarzer Shock!
I`m not sure what it is this summer but certain transfer rumours appear to be going round and round.

Yesterday we commented on how Bobby Zamora and a link to Birmingham had resurfaced and now, today, the tabloids are once again focusing on the future of Mark Schwarzer.

Schwarzer, who according to the tabloids, has one year left on his contract, is once again being linked with a move across London to Arsenal.

Apparently, Arsene Wenger, in his quest to find a top notch keeper, has been frustrated by the transfer fee demands of his priority targets.

Therefore it`s being suggested that Arsene could, once again, turn his sights towards our thirty-seven year old Australian as a temporary signing who could give him a years` service.

Now the difficulty with this rumour is establishing how true it is?

Would Arsene take on a player of Schwarzer`s age knowing he has a penchant for nurturing young talent and if he were to make an offer would Fulham be able to stop Mark from joining a club that has Premier League title aspirations and Champions League dreams?

I guess we`ll know in the fullness of time!

Title: Re: Thursday Fulham Stuff (27/05/10)
Post by: whitejc on May 27, 2010, 07:45:59 AM (
Fulham - Transfer Triangle!
Yesterday the media were running with the suggestion that Alex McLeish was set to continue his pursuit of Bobby Zamora as Birmingham City look to improve on what, for them, was a decent season next time around.

Today, the speculation relating to Bobby has him moving to England`s second city but not to Birmingham!

Just across the city Aston Villa are mentioned as losing John Carew to Serie A with Fiorentina and Juventus being linked with the Norwegian striker.

Naturally, as tends to happen on occasions like this, a possible replacement purchase is mentioned and in this case it is, as you`ve probably guessed, Bobby Zamora!

I wonder who Bobby will be linked with tomorrow!

Title: Re: Thursday Fulham Stuff (27/05/10)
Post by: whitejc on May 27, 2010, 07:47:31 AM,19528,11095_6173631,00.html? (,19528,11095_6173631,00.html?)
Duff - Keep up the good work
Winger urges Republic to continue good form

Republic of Ireland winger Damien Duff believes maintaining momentum in their friendlies is the key to Euro 2012 qualification.

The national side were cruelly deprived of a place at this summer's World Cup after losing their play-off clash with France thanks to a Thierry Henry handball.

However, the Republic have already proved they could have competed in South Africa - something illustrated again in their friendly win over Paraguay on Tuesday.

The South Americans set up the clash with Giovanni Trapattoni's side in a bid to aid their preparations for the tournament, while Algeria will be doing the same on Friday.

Their following friendly against Argentina in August rounds up the Republic's preparation for the Euro 2012 qualifiers and Duff is keen that they live up to their current standards.

The Fulham midfielder said: "That's the idea. There are no real friendlies nowadays, they are all important games.

"Hopefully we can win on Friday, carry that into the friendly in August and then the qualifiers."
Title: Re: Thursday Fulham Stuff (27/05/10)
Post by: whitejc on May 27, 2010, 07:49:21 AM (
Fulham ace Duff hopes Hodgson stays
Fulham - Damien Duff wants Roy Hodgson to stay at Craven Cottage

Fulham midfielder Damien Duff is hoping the club can head off interest in manager Roy Hodgson this summer.

Hodgson has found himself at the centre of speculation that suitors could be beating a path to his door after he guided the Londoners to the Europa League final, where they lost narrowly to a Diego Forlan-inspired Atletico Madrid.

"He's done a great job so far and I still think there's an awful lot more to do. I would say the thinks he's got unfinished business and I think we can go from strength to strength, so hopefully he will stay. I think he will," said Duff.

"I started off in the first team (at Blackburn) 12, 13 years ago with him, so I have always thought the world of him.

"It's great working with him and anyone who has worked with him, he is a top coach, they will tell you.

"He's great, and you can see what he has done with the team this season."

Hodgson's achievements have rightly won him plaudits across the board, and Duff believes that is nothing more than he deserves.

He said: "A million per cent. He's a top coach, as you can see by his CV, the teams he has managed.

"He has managed Inter Milan twice, so you needn't say anymore."
Title: Re: Thursday Fulham Stuff (27/05/10)
Post by: whitejc on May 27, 2010, 07:50:31 AM (
Fulham announce pre-season friendly with Bournemouth

On they just announced a summer pre -season friendly. Fulham will be playing at Bournemouth on  Saturday July 17th.  Bournemouth play their games at Dean Court where this friendly will take place.

Fulham have yet to announce their complete summer pre-season plans. Once more information becomes available for this summer I will update this site.
Title: Re: Thursday Fulham Stuff (27/05/10)
Post by: whitejc on May 27, 2010, 07:51:46 AM (
Murphy for England
Filed under: General — weltmeisterclaude
The England squad looks a bit uncertain doesn’t it?

On the one hand, it’s brilliant to see Glen Johnson playing so well.  You can argue that full-back is a really important attacking position in the modern game, and in Ashley Cole and Johnson we have two of the best in the business.

There’s a “but” though.

If your full-backs are forever flying up the pitch, this does place some emphasis on midfielders to ensure that the back four isn’t exposed.   Monday’s midfield of Carrick, Milner, Walcott and Gerrard tells you all you need to know about why Mexico were so in control of possession, and why they had so much attacking fun around our area, and maybe even why Ledley King looked a bit iffy.  If you don’t have a strong defensive setup among your midfielders, as we’ve seen, the back four are going to struggle.  If that back four likes to attack, well, the games are going to get quite open aren’t they?  Which is fine, but against the likes of Spain this sounds like a recipe for a thrashing.

But what do we do?   I remember in the last World Cup, those all-knowing BBC pundits continually talked up Carrick over Hargreaves, mainly because they knew Carrick and not Hargreaves, it seemed.   Hargreaves, though, played so well that in the end they had to concede that Sven was not necessarily bonkers for selecting him.

Those of us in the Hargreaves camp all along were questioning what exactly Carrick had done to deserve this praise?  Pass elegantly?  Alright, but he doesn’t tackle, does he?  And as someone in the papers said the other day, if Carrick’s passing is not right, what is he doing in the side?   He is not, and has never been, a good holding midfielder.

Neither is any of the other candidates.  Lampard could do the job, but is wasted if he’s not allowed to go forwards.  Gerrard can’t do the job.  Barry could but is injured.  Scott Parker didn’t get a look in.  Ledley King might be a wild card for the role (as Esteban Cambiasso showed us, you don’t need to do anything flash to play the position brilliantly, so I wouldn’t rule King out), but who else is there?

There is, to my mind, only one answer:  Danny Murphy.

In the Bullard years Murphy dropped in behind his adventurous partner and amazed us all with a terrific nous for danger, excellent timing in the tackle, and the all important footballing brain to do the right thing with and without the ball.   He’s moved up the park since then, but those skills don’t necessarily disappear.

Under the circumstances, Murphy should have a shot at the job.  He can’t, obviously, not being in the 30 man squad, but if Jamie Carragher is to be called upon in a defensive crisis, Murphy’s summons would not be remotely eccentric.  He’d do a job, do it well, and then, when we get to the inevitable QF penalty shootout, he’d be great to have around.

Problem solved:  Danny Murphy for England!
Title: Re: Thursday Fulham Stuff (27/05/10)
Post by: whitejc on May 27, 2010, 07:53:14 AM,19528,11681_6173810,00.html? (,19528,11681_6173810,00.html?)
Prem duo eye Speroni
Fulham and West Ham tracking Palace shot-stopper understands West Ham and Fulham have entered the race for in-demand Crystal Palace keeper Julian Speroni.

The Argentinean is already a target for Queens Park Rangers, where former Eagles boss Neil Warnock is thought to be eager to bring him in.

Last week, Speroni refused to rule out a move to Loftus Road amid reported interest but attention from the Premier League may also appeal to the former Dundee stopper.

Having won Palace's Player of the Year for the past three seasons, Speroni could expect to displace 36-year-old Radek Cerny as Rangers' first choice.

However, the 31-year-old would face competition from England international Robert Green and Australia international Mark Schwarzer of West Ham and Fulham respectively should their interest materialise.

With the club finishing the season in administration, Palace's financial difficulties may leave them no choice but to sell their shot-stopper, who has made 171 appearances for the club.
Title: Re: Thursday Fulham Stuff (27/05/10)
Post by: whitejc on May 27, 2010, 07:54:33 AM (
Onyewu survives Bradley cut

USA coach Bob Bradley announced his final 23-man squad for the 2010 FIFA World Cup South Africa™ live on American television today. Included in the squad are AC Milan defender Oguchi Onyewu, who is still fighting for fitness after injuring knee ligaments back in October, all-time top scorer Landon Donovan and UEFA Europa League finalist with Fulham, Clint Dempsey. Glasgow Rangers pair DaMarcus Beasley and Maurice Edu, both of whom have battled with big injuries and poor form of late, are both in Bradley’s final list.

“We’ve had strong preparations, we’ve played well,” Dempsey, who sat out last night’s 4-2 loss to the Czechs along with a bevy of other regular starters, told “We finished top of our qualifying group, we went to the final of the Gold Cup and the final of the Confederations Cup last year, so there’s no reason we can’t get out of our group in South Africa. We’re one step closer to getting to the World Cup and getting down to the serious business.

“The chemistry in this 23-man team is very good,” Coach Bradley went on. “We have a good mix of experienced players and new guys and I believe this is one of our main strengths.”

We’re one step closer to getting to the World Cup and getting down to the serious business.USA's Clint Dempsey
The coach, who led the Americans to a runner-up finish at last year’s FIFA Confederations Cup, also included Mexico-based pair Herculez Gomez and Jose Torres while cutting veteran striker Brian Ching, Eddie Johnson and Sacha Kljestan. “When you have to make a decision like this and cut a team down, you’ll invariably have three or four names for only one spot and you go through it as well as you can while respecting every angle that goes into it,” Bradley said after the squad announcement. “Getting our final team of 23 sorted is an important step.”

The USA will meet fancied England in their South Africa 2010 Group C opener in Rustenburg on 12 June, followed by games with Slovenia and Algeria in what is considered by many to be a manageable section. Their next warm-up match will be played on 29 May, when they will hope to rebound from last night’s loss to the Czechs against Turkey in Philadelphia.

The final USA squad:
Goalkeepers: Brad Guzan (Aston Villa), Marcus Hahnemann (Wolverhampton Wanderers), Tim Howard (Everton)

Defenders: Carlos Bocanegra (Stade Rennais), Jonathan Bornstein (Chivas USA), Steve Cherundolo (Hannover 96), Jay Demerit (Watford), Clarence Goodson (IK Start), Oguchi Onyewu (AC Milan), Jonathan Spector (West Ham), DaMarcus Beasley (Rangers),

Midfielders: Michael Bradley (Borussia Monchengladbach), Ricardo Clark (Eintracht Frankfurt), Clint Dempsey (Fulham), Landon Donovan (LA Galaxy), Maurice Edu (Rangers), Benny Feilhaber (AGF Aarhus) Stuart Holden (Bolton), Jose Torres (Pachuca)

Forwards: Edson Buddle (LA Galaxy), Robbie Findley (Real Salt Lake), Herculez Gomez (Pachuca), Jozy Altidore (Villarreal)
Title: Re: Thursday Fulham Stuff (27/05/10)
Post by: whitejc on May 27, 2010, 07:56:44 AM (
Duff desperate for Roy to stay on

Damien Duff is hoping Fulham can head off interest in Roy Hodgson this summer amid reports Inter Milan could target him as their next manager.

Hodgson has found himself at the centre of speculation that suitors could be beating a path to his door after he guided the Londoners to the Europa League final, where they lost narrowly to a Diego Forlan-inspired Atletico Madrid.

Republic of Ireland international Duff, who had previously worked under the Englishman as a young player at Blackburn, is desperate for Hodgson to remain at Craven Cottage.

He said: "He's done a great job there so far and I still think there's an awful lot more to do.

"I would say the thinks he's got unfinished business there and I think we can go from strength to strength, so hopefully he will stay. I think he will.

"I started off in the first team 12, 13 years ago with him, so I have always thought the world of him.

"It's great working with him and anyone who has worked with him, he is a top coach, they will tell you.

"He's great, and you can see what he has done with the team this season."

Hodgson's achievements have rightly won him plaudits across the board, and Duff believes that is nothing more than he deserves.

He said: "A million per cent. He's a top coach, as you can see by his CV, the teams he has managed.

"He has managed Inter Milan twice, so you needn't say anymore."
Title: Re: Thursday Fulham Stuff (27/05/10)
Post by: whitejc on May 27, 2010, 07:58:12 AM (
Duff impressed with new additions

Damien Duff's long season continued in the RDS on Tuesday when he played for 77 minutes of Ireland's friendly against Paraguay. The Ballyboden man has been praised for his performances at both international and club level during the past 12 months, with many crediting Fulham boss Roy Hodgson for his apparent resurgence in form.

There has been a good deal of talk in the English media regarding a potential move for Hodgson away from Craven Cottage, but Duff is hopeful that the former Switzerland supremo will stay where is, as he feels that he has unfinished business with the London club.

“Definitely, yeah. He's done a great job so far, I think there's an awful lot more to do. I'd say he's got unfinished business there, and I think he can go from strength to strength, so I hope he'll stay. Obviously, I've been with him this season, probably started off in the first team with him 12, 13 years ago (at Blackburn), so I've always thought the world of him”, stated Duff.

“It's great working with him, and anyone that has worked with him will tell you he's a top coach. He's great, you can see what he's done with the team this season. You can see by his CV, the teams he's managed. He's managed Inter Milan twice, so you can't say anymore”.

By this stage, Duff is considered to be one of the veterans in the side, and he feels that the new players in the squad, like Keith Fahey and James McCarthy, will have plenty to offer to Giovanni Trapattoni for the upcoming campaign.

“I've played against him (Fahey) earlier on in the season, and I was impressed by him. Like other players, particularly James McCarthy who can't be here this week, I like the look of him as well. Hopefully there'll be more to come from a lot of the lads”.

On the two goals that the Republic got on the night, Duff revealed that the first one was something they had worked on during training, while the second one was, he felt, a brilliantly worked goal.

“Yeah, the first one was a set-piece from myself. Wasn't even the best ball, but it was straight from the training ground. Lucky enough it worked, and the second was a great goal I thought. A great ball by Kellers (Stephen Kelly) into Doyler (Kevin Doyle), a chest down and a great finish from Liam (Lawrence). So we're well pleased with that”.

The 31 year-old went on to say that he picked up another knock on his troublesome calf, but said that he would be fine for Friday's game against Algeria, and was looking forward to getting a winning run going.

“It's a good win for us, so we're looking forward to Friday already. There's probably a target sign on my calves at the minute, I nearly missed the (Europa League) final because of that, but the most important thing was getting back winning. It's good confidence for the team to have a winning mentality”, Duff concluded.
Title: Re: Thursday Fulham Stuff (27/05/10)
Post by: whitejc on May 27, 2010, 07:59:52 AM (
Wolves hungry for Cottage ace

Wolfsburg have joined Arsenal in the growing list of clubs interested in Fulham keeper Mark Schwarzer.

The former Bundesliga champions have been told to get the 37-year-old Australian by new boss Steve McClaren, who worked with Schwarzer at Middlesbrough when they won the Carling Cup and reached the UEFA Cup final.

Wolfsburg know all about the Fulham keeper, who speaks fluent German, from the Europa League semi-final when he made a couple of key saves in the first half of the second leg.

Arsenal have also been linked to Schwarzer and reports yesterday claimed Arsene Wenger had him scouted in Fulham's final two matches of the season - although he knows all about him from almost ten years of watching him in the Premier League.

All the rumours are good for Schwarzer's new deal talks, with the ex-Bradford City star out of contract in 12 months.
Title: Re: Thursday Fulham Stuff (27/05/10)
Post by: whitejc on May 27, 2010, 08:01:00 AM (
Ex-USA star Harkes wishes Dempsey all the best

Former USA international John Harkes has wished all current star Clint Dempsey all the best ahead of the World Cup.

This may seem a normal thing to do, but the pair have a slight history after Harkes, now a commentator, criticized Dempsey for looking tired at the Confederations Cup last year.

Dempsey reacted aggressively to Harkes’ comments by telling Grant Wahl of Sports Illustrated: “He criticized me in [Confederations Cup] for looking tired and said I should be benched, but I was top three in distance covered in the whole tournament. It’s funny that he criticized me so much and yet I feel like I’ve done more in my international career than he has. Just compare our national-team stats. I’ve also scored in a World Cup, scored three goals in Confederations Cup, and got the Bronze Ball for third-best player in the whole tournament. Look at what he’s done. I’m 27 and still have a lot of games left in me and he’s finished.”

Harkes recently responded by admitting he just said what he thought as that is his job, to commentate on the game.

“Clint Dempsey is a great player, highly skilled and very entertaining,” Harkes told Wahl. “My job is to commentate on the games. It’s never personal. As a former player you realize it’s part and parcel of the profession. I wish Clint and the whole U.S. team the best of success, especially in the World Cup.”
Title: Re: Thursday Fulham Stuff (27/05/10)
Post by: whitejc on May 27, 2010, 08:02:52 AM (
Manchester United Boss Targets Giant £12m Signing: Ferguson Lines Up Move for Centre Back Hangeland

Old Trafford linked with move for Craven Cottage defender

Sir Alex Ferguson is reportedly interested in signing Fulham centre back Brede Hangeland as the Manchester United boss looks to new defensive options for his Old Trafford side. The towering Norwegian international had another fine season last term, helping Roy Hodgson’s west London club to the Europa League Final and a respectable 12th placed finish.
The 6ft 5in US born defender has proved to be a fantastic acquisition since his move to Craven Cottage from FC Copenhagen and has been linked with moves to both Tottenham and more prominently to Arsenal but now Ferguson is apparently considering a move for the £12m rated 28 year old.

Having seen Rio Ferdinand put in an injury and poor form ravaged season Man United may well be looking for a reliable partner for Nemanja Vidic. The Premier League runners-up also have the likes of ever improving Jonny Evans and youngster Chris Smalling as long term prospects but the club are apparently keen to bring in an established defender to help in the short term, hence interest in Hangeland.
Title: Re: Thursday Fulham Stuff (27/05/10)
Post by: whitejc on May 27, 2010, 08:05:48 AM (
66er Cohen urges England to defend first

When George Cohen, a 1966 World Cup winner and rated as England's best-ever right back, says the country's incumbent fullbacks need to concentrate on defending first and foremost it is worth taking notice.

Cohen, voted the best player to wear his country's number two shirt, is as excited as anyone about this year's tournament in South Africa but is concerned that the men vying to follow him and left back Ray Wilson into the Hall of Fame are missing some of the basics.

"Ashley Cole has really developed, you need to see him against a proper winger to appreciate how good he is and how he has become a very good fullback," Cohen told Reuters in an interview.

"But there is a big gap between him and the ability of anyone else coming through.

"I watch a lot of these players and they need to play as fullbacks, they have to know how to defend properly. That remains their primary job.

"On the right Glen Johnson is a very good distributor and crosser of the ball but for me he doesn't know how to defend very well. He really does need to understand that he is a fullback and defender first."

Cohen was something of a trailblazer in the 1966 team having displaced former captain Jimmy Armfield. Alf Ramsey plotted a course to glory with his narrow-operating side but in fact Cohen, with his constant overlaps, ensured that the "wingless wonders" actually had a regular wide option.

"Bombing upfield is all well and good," he says, "as long as you get the ball.

"The problem is if the fullback goes forward and loses the ball - the defence is usually very stretched. They have to go on to the ball with the play in front of them but lots of times these days I see fullbacks disappearing up past the halfway line and expecting a very good ball to get to them. That means they have to wait and control it and they haven't got time.

"I know people are playing narrower now and that gives more room for fullbacks to get on the outside but Fabio Capello is becoming more defensive and might play five across the middle so the emphasis really is on the fullbacks to defend."

Cohen, who spent his entire club career at Fulham, is unconvinced by Jamie Carragher as cover and pronounced himself bemused by the Liverpool man's decision, now rescinded, to retire from international football.

"Carragher is not a fullback any more, he's lost his pace - but he's an outstanding centre back," said the 70-year-old.

"I don't really understand people who retire themselves. There is nothing quite like playing for your country so that is a bit beyond my comprehension. I would just say 'sorry son, if you don't want to play, goodbye.'"

Cohen said he liked Michael Dawson as a back-up to John Terry and Rio Ferdinand but would not risk Ledley King.

"We've got enough there, there is no point in taking King," he said. "He could aggravate that injury in the first game - that's what happened with Bryan Robson a few years ago - so I wouldn't take him."

James Milner's crossing earns the Aston Villa man a place on the left midfield in Cohen's England team while Peter Crouch is his choice to accompany Wayne Rooney up front.

"Some don't like Crouch but he's very tidy, he scores goals and can knock them down to Rooney," said Cohen. "They read each other very well and I think he's a dangerous player to have up front as well as a good defender at the set piece."

Title contenders

Cohen sees parralels in current boss Capello and Ramsey and expects England to mount a serious challenge.

"They've got a great draw, there's no doubt about that. After the group stage it could open up and if they can't get past America, Algeria and Slovenia then they should go back to subbuteo," he said.

"I've really enjoyed looking at how Capello is trying to put his team together. I think the players understand what they need to do under him - they know what is required, just as it was under Alf and they know if they don't perform they are out."

Cohen's regular stroll down memory lane has been aided this year by his role as an ambassador for online directory's campaign to reunite fans from English soccer's greatest day.

"You could cut the atmosphere with a knife. It was fantastic," Cohen said of that July day 44 years ago. "Hopefully we can revive that incredible feeling this time around."
Title: Re: Thursday Fulham Stuff (27/05/10)
Post by: whitejc on May 27, 2010, 08:07:16 AM (
Fulham players top supporter satisfaction list

Thrilled by their team’s unprecedented performance in the Europa League, Fulham fans were more pleased by their players’ performances than any other set of supporters in the Premier League this season.

In a survey for The Times of 5,026 Premiership fans, Fulham supporters gave their team a 92 per cent approval rating when asked to rate “the performance of their club’s players this season”.

Under Roy Hodgson’s guidance, Bobby Zamora, Damien Duff and their team-mates proved a real threat to the big teams this season - especially at Craven Cottage - and made it to the final of the Europa League for the first time in their history, where they were pipped in injury time by Atlético Madrid.

Elsewhere, despite their side’s finish at the bottom of the table, Portsmouth fans still gave their players an 81 per cent approval rating. They also gave manager Avram Grant a 95 per cent approval rating, showing that they place the blame for the club’s dire situation squarely at the door of the club’s directors, who gained just 11 per cent of the fans’ confidence.

Birmingham City’s run of good form, Wolverhampton Wanderers’ survival and Tottenham Hotspur’s qualification for the Champions League all earned their players a favourable rating among fans while, at Anfield, the Liverpool squad was ranked 18th with a 37 per cent rating, just above West Ham United and Hull City players.
Title: Re: Thursday Fulham Stuff (27/05/10)
Post by: whitejc on May 27, 2010, 08:09:10 AM (
Inter intent on tempting England manager Fabio Capello back to Italy
• Italian champions willing to treble Capello's salary
• FA confident the England manager will not leave

Internazionale are intent upon luring Fabio Capello back to Serie A after the World Cup, though the Football Association is confident the England manager will reject the Italian club and honour the remaining two years of his contract.

The Inter president, Massimo Moratti, is understood to have identified the 63-year-old as his "ideal candidate" and first choice to replace José Mourinho at the Champions League winners. Real Madrid dismissed Manuel Pellegrini this evening and are in the process of appointing the Portuguese, with negotiations continuing between the two clubs over a compensation package that could involve Mourinho and, potentially, the Brazil right-back Maicon swapping San Siro for the Bernabéu.

Capello, who has returned to Austria with his England squad to resume altitude training, is contracted to the FA until the end of Euro 2012 and this month removed a get-out clause in his £6m-a-year deal, signed in December 2007. That would have allowed him to talk to other interested parties in a two-week window after the World Cup, with his decision to have the clause cut considered as a very visible sign of his continued commitment to the England role.

However, Inter would be willing to treble his annual salary, after tax, in order to bring the former Milan, Roma and Juventus manager back to Italy. Moratti has long admired Capello and initially tried to hire him while he was coaching Juve in 2006 only for the country's match-fixing scandal to erupt. That agreement was duly scrapped, with Capello taking over at Real Madrid for a second spell instead.

The Italian coach has consistently stressed his commitment to England when asked about the frequent interest from Italy. "Juventus, Inter, [Real] Madrid, all the other teams, Milan … It's good for me, but I am just focused on the World Cup," he said on Monday after England's 3-1 friendly victory over Mexico.

Indeed, Capello tends to add the caveat that his future is ultimately decided by his employers at the FA, who could arguably have sought to have reviewed his position were England to endure a miserable World Cup in South Africa. However, Capello currently enjoys complete support within the FA, largely as a result of the resurgence in the side's form since he took over from Steve McClaren following the national team's failure to qualify for Euro 2008.

"I have a contract with the FA and the only way it will finish is if they decide to sack me," said Capello last week. "I see my name linked with lots of jobs in England, Spain and Italy, but I'm happy here with the FA. I like my job, I like this country and I don't think about my future. My future is about tomorrow and the World Cup."

Real Madrid's president, Florentino Pérez, announced the club's intention to recruit Mourinho "once his contractual relationship with Inter has been resolved" following a board meeting tonight.

Mourinho, whose led Inter to an unprecedented treble of Serie A, the Coppa Italia and the Champions League, is under contract with the Nerazzurri until June 2012, but has a get-out clause in his deal which will be exercised should Madrid meet the fee of €16m (£13.5m). The 47-year-old met Inter's finance director, Rinaldo Ghelfi, in Milan today and afterwards told reporters: "Now I am on holiday, then I will go and work in Spain."

Pérez added: "There is nobody on the board who has given an opinion against the signing of José Mourinho; on the contrary, they are enthusiastic at being able to recruit one of the best coaches in the world. We believe he is a coach who will add a lot to this important squad that we have.

"As everybody knows, the decision we made was not an easy one, but we are totally convinced that we need a new impulse and we are delighted that a coach like Mourinho can lead this squad in the next few years.

Capello and his players returned to Irdning yesterday but their preparations for the friendly with Japan in Graz on Sunday were disrupted when England's team bus got stuck in traffic, forcing them to cancel a planned training session. The England manager will dispatch his general manager, Franco Baldini, to Dublin on Friday to watch his Group C rivals Algeria play the Republic of Ireland. The countries are due to meet in the second group match in Cape Town on 18 June.
Title: Re: Thursday Fulham Stuff (27/05/10)
Post by: whitejc on May 27, 2010, 08:18:01 AM (
Badgers Prepare

179The afternoon of day two of the Fulham Badgers’ trip to Hong Kong involved a light training session in humid conditions at the Hong Kong FC stadium.

The team was joined by the Hong Kong Dragons and Hong Kong FC Crusaders and they all made excellent use of the wonderful facilities at their disposal in preparation for Thursday’s football tournament.

All three groups trained together for about two hours and Fulham FC Foundation Disability Development Coach, Susie Williams, overcame language and communication barriers by implementing a variety of visual signals and encouraging a universal language of football.

The conditions got warmer and warmer during the session with temperatures reaching thirty degrees so there were plenty of water breaks required and most of the exercises focused on working with the ball and practising different skills.

There was a great camaraderie amongst the teams as they all had plenty of fun during training. One of the session’s highlights was the chance for the players to train with the professional goalkeepers of Hong Kong FC who all took a break from their own training schedule to spend some valuable time to inspire the youngsters. The players even had an opportunity to beat the goalie with several successes registered.

Speaking about the training session, parent of one of the members of the team and Badgers Coach, Gary Lawless said:

“It’s been absolutely amazing to train with all three teams here at HKFC. It’s given the Badgers the opportunity to acclimatise to the temperature, meet other players and check out the competition for Thursday’s tournament.”

 It was time to relax and unwind after an eventful afternoon. Fulham Football Club Foundation was delighted to host a reception dinner in the fantastic outdoor setting of the HKFC’s Sportsman Bar which was attended by 100 guests comprising of Fulham Badgers, HK Dragons, HKFC Crusaders and other HKFC staff members, corporate sponsors as well as a surprise guest appearance by Hong Kong businessman, Sir David Tang.

The dinner gave the Foundation a chance to formally thank all of the people that helped make this tour possible and there was also a special mention for the members of the Fulham Badgers team that were not able to make the trip. Their hard work and success throughout last season was duly acknowledged.

There were speeches made by Fulham FC Chief Executive, Steven Day, Gary Lawless on behalf of the parents, Patricia James, Corporate and Lottery Fundraising Officer from the Down’s Syndrome Association, Kevin Brown, representing Hong Kong FC and Sir David Tang.
The evening concluded with gifts presented to corporate sponsors by Fulham FC Foundation as a token of appreciation for their help with the tour.

FFC Foundation Chief Executive, Steven Day, said:

“Tonight has been a great opportunity for us to thank everybody who’s been involved in making this trip possible and officially welcoming the Fulham Badgers to Hong Kong.”

Title: Re: Thursday Fulham Stuff (27/05/10)
Post by: whitejc on May 27, 2010, 01:09:52 PM (
Fulham FC ponder pre-season friendly at Harrow Borough

Harrow Borough look to have missed out on hosting beaten Europa League finalists Fulham in a pre-season friendly.

Manager David Howell wanted to pit his Ryman Premier League side against Roy Hodgson's slick Premier League outfit, however he thinks that now looks unlikely.

Queens Park Rangers and Birmingham City have agreed to come to Earlsmead on August 2 and 10 respectively and Howell was hopeful the Cottagers would be the latest big name to come help swell Borough's coffers.

“It was going to be Fulham but they cannot commit to anything just yet,” said Howell. “I cannot see it happening as they will be looking to enter competitions early on in the season, but it is not dead just yet.”
Title: Re: Thursday Fulham Stuff (27/05/10)
Post by: whitejc on May 27, 2010, 01:10:53 PM (
Zolly Scoops Award
The Club can confirm that Zoltan Gera has been voted Fulham's 2009/10 Player of the Season following an online poll on

Gera received the highest number of votes with Bobby Zamora (2nd) and Aaron Hughes (3rd) finishing behind the Hungarian attacking midfielder. 

'Zolly's' goals in Europe played a crucial role in Fulham reaching the Final of the UEFA Europa League last season and his partnership in attack with Bobby Zamora turned into one of the success stories of the 09/10 campaign.

In 14 UEFA Europa League appearances last season, Gera scored six goals against CSKA Sofia, Basel, Shakhtar Donetsk, Juventus (2) and of course, THAT winner against Hamburg in the Semi Final at the Cottage.

It was not just Zoltan's goals that earned him the most votes. The Hungarian has been a credit to himself and Fulham Football Club with his determination, composure, contribution and attitude on and off the pitch.

Speaking to on Thursday afternoon, Fulham's Player of the Season paid tribute to the Club's fans following a quite remarkable 12 months.

"I'm very, very pleased to receive this award and I'm also very surprised! I want to thank my teammates, the Manager, the Club and especially all the supporters who were absolutely fantastic last season.

"I enjoyed every game I played in last season and our European campaign was fantastic. Every single match was a great experience, especially from when we beat Shakhtar Donetsk and put a real run together.

"It's important that we all get a good rest now and once the holidays are over we return excited for the new season. Hopefully I can play well again next year and have another good season."

Fulham FC would like to congratulate Zoltan on winning the Club's Player of the Season Award for 2009/10 and thank the Club's supporters for casting their votes over the past few weeks. Voting has now closed.

Title: Re: Thursday Fulham Stuff (27/05/10)
Post by: whitejc on May 27, 2010, 03:22:23 PM (
a hero's send-off Socceroos first to arrive
May 27, 2010 Edition 4

THE Australian soccer squad last night became the first of the visiting World Cup squads to touch down at OR Tambo International Airport.

The Socceroos, as they are known, held a brief session for photographers and TV crews, but there were no interviews, before they were whisked off to the squad's headquarters in Joburg's northern suburbs.

Meanwhile, Brazil - one of the teams favoured to win the first World Cup on African soil - were given a frenzied farewell when they flew out to South Africa. They were expected to land at about 6am today.

The five-time world champions will stay at a hotel in Randburg.

Brazil's passion for football meant that the country's banks could close when the national team played in the World Cup, the country's central bank said yesterday.

"On those days, uninterrupted working hours will not be obligatory in the agencies of banks and savings institutions."

The measure was not only to allow football-mad bank staff to catch the live broadcasts, but also "to avoid security lapses" in the banks and armoured cash transport.

The Selecao, as the Brazilian football team are popularly known, will play two matches in Joburg in the group stage - against North Korea at Ellis Park on June 15 and against Ivory Coast at Soccer City on June 20.

Brazil's final Group G match, against Portugal on June 25, will be played in Durban.

Australia's Dutch coach, Pim Verbeek, said before the squad's departure from Australia that they would waste no time and start training within 24 hours of their arrival.

Australia have arranged World Cup warm-up games against Denmark on June 1 and the US on June 5, before tackling Germany, Serbia and Ghana in what is regarded as one of the toughest of the eight opening-round World Cup groups.

Spearheaded by prolific Everton goalscorer Tim Cahill, Fulham goalkeeper Mark Schwarzer, former Leeds United and Liverpool star Harry Kewell, and captain Lucas Neill, the 28 players who arrived last night are based mainly in England and other European countries.

Verbeek axed Middlesbrough striker Scott McDonal and former Crystal Palace midfielder Nick Carie from his initial squad after the Socceroos beat New Zealand 2-1 shortly before they left for South Africa.

The coach will have to trim his squad further, to 23 players, by Monday - the final cut-off date as decreed by Fifa. - Sapa-AFP
Title: Re: Thursday Fulham Stuff (27/05/10)
Post by: whitejc on May 27, 2010, 04:29:05 PM (
The China Club

There was a wonderful treat in store for the Fulham Badgers team on day three of their trip to Hong Kong. The team was invited to a lunch hosted by Sir David Tang at his exclusive China Club, a shanghai-style restaurant in the central district of the city, where a sumptuous meal was served.

The breathtaking panoramic views of the city from the balcony of the China Club provided the perfect setting for a thoroughly enjoyable afternoon.

Sir David Tang is President of the Hong Kong Down’s Syndrome Association and a number of executive members of the organisation also attended the lunch. As a special thank you to Sir David Tang, professional jazz musician and composer, Tim Whitehead, played a song for him on his saxophone.

After lunch, there was a short distance journey west across the city to visit the Nesbitt Centre, a residential centre that provides English speaking educational programmes for adults with learning disabilities. The Badgers met with some of the Centre’s residents and were given a guided tour of the venue.

Many of the Nesbitt Centre’s core values of working together in the community, promoting integration and fostering a positive environment are values shared by the Fulham Football Club Foundation. The visit was also a wonderful opportunity for employees of both of these charities to show mutual appreciation for the positive work carried out within the respective communities they each serve.

Before nightfall descended on what has so far been a fabulous three days, the group was spilt into two with some people choosing to go sightseeing and exploring other parts of the city and the other group taking in some horse racing action for an evening meeting at Hong Kong’s well-known Happy Valley racecourse with an impressive backdrop of the night city.

Hong Kong FC’s stadium now awaits the Fulham Badgers for tomorrow’s tournament and feelings of excitement and anticipation occupied the team as the day drew to a close.

Community Development Manager for the Fulham FC Foundation, Rebecca Dance, said:

“Players, parents and staff have had a brilliant day today and are thoroughly enjoying their whole Hong Kong adventure.

"Thanks to the hard work of everybody over the past four months, this trip has been an amazing achievement for us as a Foundation and Disability Sport as a whole.

"Off the back of such a successful trip, we hope to be able to get involved in more, similar rewarding projects.”

Down’s Syndrome Association Corporate Manager, Patricia James, added:

“The Badgers and their parents have got so much out of this visit both on and off the pitch. It’s through partnerships like these with Fulham Football Club Foundation that we’re able to provide such amazing opportunities that help young people with Down's syndrome live full and rewarding lives.

"It’s the first time any of our DSActive teams have had the chance to travel abroad on tour and they are certainly all enjoying the once in a lifetime experience. Through the Badgers’ positive experiences we hope to encourage even more players with Down’s syndrome to get involved in our DSActive progamme which is open to anyone with Down's syndrome between the ages of 5 and 25.”

Title: Re: Thursday Fulham Stuff (27/05/10)
Post by: simplyfulham on May 27, 2010, 05:17:56 PM
Read in the metro today Fulham were having a look at Aiden Mcgeady.

Not sure how reliable the Metro transfer gossip section is, but wondered if the mighty WhiteJC had found any such info on his wirelessly charged adventures on the web?

(would love it to happen though..)